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MA: Sex Offender Registry Gears Up.

December 11, 2001

MA: Sex Offender Registry Gears Up

Court fights slowed, altered the effort

Five years after Massachusetts decided to alert the public to sex offenders in its midst, a new state agency is finally targeting potentially dangerous predators among the 18,000 men and women convicted of sex crimes in the past 20 years.

Since 1996, lengthy battles in court and in the Legislature have repeatedly reshaped - and stalled - the Sex Offender Registry Board. But now, after clearing its final legal hurdles, the board is up and running, although much more slowly than before because all convicted sex offenders are now guaranteed a hearing before they are classified as dangerous or not.

Boston police, for example, currently have information on just 33 convicted sex offenders out of a potential pool of 6,000. Under an earlier version of the Sex Offender Registry law, police had information on 900 offenders.

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Source: 2001 The Boston Globe